Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Dark and Hollow Places trailer!

Squeee!!!  I'm so SO excited to present the trailer for The Dark and Hollow Places!  This is the short version, 15 seconds (not sure if I can share the reason for that yet... will have to ask but it's VERY VERY exciting).  I think there's going to be a longer version released in the future and I'll definitely link to it when it comes out.

This is a scene taken right from the beginning of the book and I love it!

The Dark and Hollow Places officially released Tuesday and I've been having a total blast on tour, Thanks Chicago and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (first tour recap post coming soon, I promise!).  Thank you to everyone who has come out to say hi and hung around to chat about our favorite books (I'm keeping a running list of your reading suggestions!).

If you're in Chicago, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Spartanburg, SC or Austin, I'm coming your way soon!  Click here (my blog) or here ( for more details!

And of course, you can always pick up a copy of my book at any of the following places:  Random House | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Borders | Walmart and your local indie!

What do you think of the trailer?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Birthday And Details About Tonight!

The Dark and Hollow Places comes out TODAY! 

I will be in Ft Lauderdale tonight for the Launch Party at The Museum of Art.  Please note that this event starts at 6pm (not 7pm as I had previously listed).  If you're in the area, come join us!

Don't forget to pick up your copy of The Dark and Hollow Places (ahem, or two or three... they make great gifts!) today at any of these fine establishments:  Random House | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Borders | Walmart

The next stop on the tour is Chicago.  Be sure to check my Events page for information on tour times and locations.  I hope to see you soon!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yay for makey-outy scenes!

I'm super excited to welcome all you treasure hunters to my blog, especially since it's for a cause I believe in: the makey-outy scene.  So, in honor of Cassandra Clare's treasure hunt for the scenes too hot to include in the trailer for City of Fallen Angels I thought I'd give a brief teaser of a kiss from The Dark and Hollow Places, the third book in my Forest of Hands and Teeth series, which comes out TOMORROW!
We're twirling so fast now that the force of it tries to pull us apart, but he holds me tighter, snowflakes spiraling around us.  I let my head fall back and revel in the joy that erupts from every part of me for the first time in so long.

Finally, he stops and we stand there hiccuping and gulping frigid air.  He reaches out absently and tucks a wet strand of hair behind my left ear, his fingertips just barely brushing my jaw.  For a minute I forget to tense, forget to care that the hair was there to cover my scars, to hide me.  For a minute I feel normal.

I don't let hesitation crowd my mind.  Instead I let the buoyant freedom of the moment overwhelm me and I stretch up onto my toes and push my mouth against his.
And no, I'm not telling you who the guy getting kissed is :)  If you want to read more, starting tomorrow you can pick up The Dark and Hollow Places at the following places: Random House | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Borders | Walmart

Also, if you live in or near Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Cincinnati, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Phoenix or Los Angeles I'm headed your way for tour starting today!  Click here to find out where I'll be and come say hi!

So, now the clue you're looking for!  Hello, treasure hunters! Your letter is : L

Your next blog is Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl, authoresses of Beautiful Creatures. Go!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Waiting for my real life to begin

This past weekend I attended a Colin Hay concert (you probably know him best as the singer for Men at Work).  He's AMAZING in concert -- hilarious and talented.  Seriously, if you ever have the chance to see him I highly recommend it!

So one of the songs he played was, Waiting For My Real Life to Begin, which is probably familiar to a lot of y'all:

And as I sat there listening to him the words really began to sink in and I thought about my life and where I am.  I've been asked a lot recently about how I became a writer -- when I knew I wanted to become one and what I did about it.  I know I've shared a lot of that story here before: I never realized I *could want* to become an author until I read an interview with a romance author in which she said she started writing when she read a book and thought "Hey, I could do that."  I read those words and thought, "Wait, I could do that too!"

But I was in high school.  I felt too young to write a book.  So I waited.  And when I graduated from college I started working on my first book and after a couple of years I put that aside to attend law school (which I don't regret in the slightest seeing as how that's where I met my husband... and also? I just really loved law school -- call me a nerd :)

I always thought I was too busy to do anything else in law school other than be a student.  AHAHAHAHA!  Once I started practicing law I realized just what it was to be busy.  And I had this moment where I thought: I don't want to be doing this, practicing law, for the rest of my life.  So I asked myself: if I could do anything, what would it be?  The answer was easy: an author.

The next question became: what was I going to do about it?  Because I really was busy, probably busier than I'd ever been at any other time in my life.  And that's when I realized I had a choice: go after my dream of being a writer or let it go.  I didn't see a sense in always saying to myself, "This is what I want more than anything else but I just can't be bothered to do anything about it."

Because there's a part of me that thought: what would have happened if I'd just kept writing through law school?  Looking back I realized that I had the time -- I could have done it.  I just didn't.  I made excuses.   If I'd written all through law school maybe I'd have gotten published, maybe I wouldn't have, but at least I'd have been farther along towards my ultimate goal.

And I realized: I don't want to wake up in five years and ask myself the same question.

It's funny how we do that with dreams: put them off.  I wonder if we're afraid to chase them down because we fear they won't taste as sweet or because we're scared we can't catch them.  I'm not going to lie, there's a terror in holding your dream in your hand because if you break it, you have only yourself to blame.

It's easy to tuck your chin to your chest and plow through life.  I do it: focus on today's tasks and then tomorrow's tasks, and then the ones after that as the days roll past beneath me.  Listening to Colin Hay sing the words, "I'm waiting for my real life to begin," made me step back and look at the larger picture -- how all the days piece together.  You hear all these cliches about how life isn't a dress rehearsal, etc., and often they're meaningless but then there are those moments when you understand exactly.

I'm thankful that five years ago I decided not to wait for my life to somehow arrange itself to my liking.   That I'm not waking up today and wondering, "What if I'd just started writing a book five years ago?  Where would I be?"

Monday, March 14, 2011

On signed books, tour stops, memory, and other things

In one week I leave for The Dark and Hollow Places tour!  Wahoo!  I can't wait to visit Miami, Chicago, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Austin!  All the details are here.  This will be my fourth time in Chicago which is kind of neat because I feel like I have friends there now -- so many familiar faces and it's always cool being able to catch up :)  I'm also very excited about the new stops to meet new readers (and see new places)!

However, if I'm not stopping in a city near you or if you're not able to come out, you can still get a personalized/ autographed book.  My local indie, Park Road Books, is fantastic and only a few miles away which works out perfectly!  At any time in the year you can place an order with them and I'll swing by to sign it.  You can also pre-order a signed copy of The Dark and Hollow Places and they'll get it in the mail to you -- I'll be dropping by probably on Saturday, March 19 to sign them all so just make sure you get your order in before then (otherwise, I won't be able to sign any until I'm back in town on April 18).

Here are the details about ordering a signed book.  Essentially it's as easy as giving them a call: 704-525-9239 and placing the order!  Make sure to let them know how you want it personalized!

Okay, topic two is my signing policy.  The venues hosting me go through a lot of planning and work to pull off these events even though they always make it all look so seamless and effortless.  These booksellers are passionate about books and I couldn't be more honored that they're willing to expend some of that passion on my behalf.  Therefore, I like to ask anyone coming to hear me speak -- if you're going to get a book signed, please purchase a book from the store.  Every store has its individual policies on signings and so you'll want to check with them about what you can bring to be signed, etc.

Here's my policy: I'll sign anything (well, within reason - lol - if you have a massive stack I might ask you to run back through the line again so other people have a chance to get through).  Or if you just want to show up to hear me talk and ask questions and not get anything signed, that's great too!  But I would love it if, to show support for the store, you'd purchase a book from them (purchasing ahead of time is fine or purchasing someone else's book works too). Again, the store's individual policy on these things trumps mine so always check with them if you have a question!  Thanks!

Finally... I have a bad memory.  I joke about this a lot but it kind of gets both scary and frustrating when I'm traveling.  I'm terrible with names -- HORRIBLE -- which is embarrassing and I'm sorry if/when I'm not able to remember yours.  However, I do have a good situational memory which means that I just have to connect all the dots in my head so please, when you come up to meet me just remind me who you are.  Tell me your twitter handle or your blog name (because I have a visual memory I'm likely to remember your handle picture - lol).  Please don't think that because I can't remember your name, I don't remember you!

I can't wait to see y'all!  Only one more week!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

On finishing a series

Okay, so I missed Teaser Tuesday - oops!  Before I get to the meat of the blog, announcements first!
  1. Don't forget to enter for a chance to win one of 10 signed ARCs of The Dark and Hollow Places! The giveaway ends this Sunday, March 13th!
  2. I'm headed out on tour!  Over the course of many weeks I'll be in Miami, Chicago, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Spartanburg SC and Austin!  I'm so excited for all of these visits and would love to meet y'all in person!  Here's the whole schedule!
  3. Teaser Time!!  The first TWO CHAPTERS of The Dark and Hollow Places are up online!  Click here for the Chapter Sample from Random House Children's Books (link opens a .pdf file).
  4. And not to forget about the recent release of The Dead-Tossed Waves paperback, I shared five bits of trivia about that book on Suvudu here.
  5. The fantastically wonderful and NYT/USA Today/International bestselling author, Rachel Caine, blurbed The Dark and Hollow Places which thrills me to no end!!  She wrote:
"Carrie Ryan has penned a story of the undead that magically, unexpectedly transforms into a painful, beautiful, aching story about life. I can't say it more plainly than this: I loved it. I wish I'd written it." - Rachel Caine, bestselling author of The Morganville Vampires
I can't believe that The Dark and Hollow Places comes out in 12 days.  TWELVE DAYS!!  It's funny because I've been asked a lot lately how it feels to have this series draw to a close which is a tough question to answer.  First of all, I still have some short stories set in that world coming out this year but also... I feel like since I finished writing the book in 2010 that it ended a long time ago.  I'm already excited about what comes next!

But honestly what it feels like is this... have you ever just focused on one day and then the next and suddenly you look up and a week or a month has gone by?  That's what the release of The Dark and Hollow Places feels like.  I've been putting one foot in front of the other and suddenly... the series is done.  It kind of snuck up on me!

The past couple of days I keep looking up and realizing... soon I'll have three books on the shelf.  THREE BOOKS!  And there will be more coming (not in this series, but more!).  This is a dream come true!  Sure, I wanted this to happen, I've worked for this to happen, but when I sat down to write The Forest of Hands and Teeth over four years ago (actually, 1589 days to be exact since I have the email I sent to myself when I thought of the first line) I never every thought I'd be here.  I dreamed I would one day make it here... but I probably wouldn't have taken the odds it would have happened like this :)

So how does it feel?  Overwhelming.  I think that's one reason that I can only lift my head up from the day to day and look around every now and again because otherwise I'll be stunned into inaction.  I feel too lucky, almost as if it isn't fair.  There's still so much more ahead of me that I'm crazy excited about, but sometimes it's nice to sit here and realize... wow.  Three books.

And I wouldn't be here without y'all, so thank you!

Now to put my head back down and motor through the rest of my looming to-do list :)

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Writing Life Part 2: reality

Recently, I posted what I expected or dreamed my life would be like writing full time.  I think the fact that it took me twelve days to post the follow-up should tell you something :)  Here's the reality:

Wake up -- I'm actually impressed this happens at a reasonable hour.  I don't set an alarm but I've learned that I pretty much get out of bed just after JP leaves the house in the morning (which can throw me off if he leaves early for a meeting).  He still doesn't believe this is the case (me actually getting out of bed) and he's been known to email me when he gets to work to see if I'm at my computer.1  He doesn't know I put my iPhone on the bedside table because I'm wise to this trick of his :)

Some mornings I'll read in bed because sometimes that's the only time I'll get to read all day and I've fallen SO VERY BEHIND.  Or because I'm reading a book I can't put down which is always an awesome experience.  Once I'm up, I drag on clothes -- whatever's handy (aka yoga pants and a t-shirt).

Let the dog in.  Give the dog his pills.  Follow dog around to ensure he swallows said pills (usually not a problem).

Check email -- I'd like to do what John Scalzi has done and put a moratorium on email until after my words are written but... I'm not that disciplined (yet - I live in hope).  Checking email first leads to wails of despair at how very far behind I am and then I try to get through some of them.  I might spend an hour on this.  At the end I've accomplished much less than I feel I should have.

Listen to cat barf.  Finish up email real quickly before going to clean up barf.  Forget about barf.

Cook breakfast -- lately I've been on an eggs kick.  So I go cook eggs and then eat them while reading the news.  Send snippets of news to JP which inevitably start email conversations that trickle back and forth through the day.

Remember cat barf -- go find it and clean it.  Ignore Dog's sad look that I wouldn't let HIM be the one to clean up cat barf because in his world that's considered a delicacy.  Let dog out.

Check to-do list -- yes, sometimes I add things to my list just so I can check them off and feel accomplished.  Here's a sampling of my current to-do list:

  • sign and mail books to editor
  • mail books from contests (figure out contests and what to mail)
  • send paperwork to mortgage company for refinance
  • clean house for appraisal (took a solid day)
  • design/order tour schwag
  • update website (yay! it's in the works!)
  • email two friends to set up dinner/lunch
  • taxes (collect and organize all data -- print out bank statements)
  • take Jake to vet for hip analysis (turns out he has a torn ACL, which means I must research repair options and schedule surgery)
  • figure out how to get people to new facebook page
  • answer interviews (STOP AVOIDING some interview questions just because I'm crazy late on them and so very very embarrassed)
  • set up goodreads contest (figure out if page was fixed).  Check in on Goodreads contest, tweet about it.
  • check in on contracts for secret project (yes, SECRET PROJECTS!!!)
  • call for estimates on home repair
And then of course the perennial stuff: go to store, drop off/pick up dry cleaning (to be fair, JP usually does this but mostly that's because he's the only one with dry cleaning), go to the gym (ahahahaha, this still makes me laugh), run errands to post office, drop by local indie to set up pre-order signing, blog, etc.  There's also the bigger stuff: revising short stories and books, writing short stories and books, etc.  And also things like reading for blurbs, reading for friends, reading for research, critting, etc.

Let the dog in.  Move coffee table out of the way so that dog can approach the couch from the other side in order to avoid the Mean Sleeping Kitty (it's either that or listen to him whine and our dog is a Champion Whiner).

Try not to stress about phone interview from newspaper.  Keep checking the clock to make sure I am Prepared and Ready for phone call when it comes.  Do interview, totally enjoy it and hang up with sense of excitement and glee.

Attempt to make some headway on the to-do list -- realize around 2pm that (a) I haven't eaten and (b) I haven't written (well, written on any of my writing projects).  Figure out food -- whatever I can scrape from the cabinet.  Realize I can't go out in public because I'd have to shower and that would take Too Much Time.

Skype with friend re: book (mine or theirs, take your pick).  Friend has AMAZINGLY perfect idea for the idea I've been toying with.  Drop everything to write up a synopsis and send it to my amazing agent.

Dog barks: UPS man here!

Turn on MacFreedom to enforce some internet-free quality time.  Get words written.  Hopefully.

Agent's emailed back!  Engage in banter with him about exciting idea.  Remember yet again how much I adore my agent (Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich).  Day dream about exciting idea.

Aim to go to the gym at 4:00 before the after-work crowd.  Perhaps arrive at 5:15 along with the after work crowd.  Fight way onto elliptical and read or listen to writing podcast.  Eavesdrop while in the sauna.

Or, due to aforementioned timing, just turn on the xBox kinect and dance :)  Dance, dance, DANCE!  Realize how out of shape I am after fifth pass through Poker Face and pledge to hit the gym tomorrow.  Or, if it's a gorgeous day, I'll take a walk (can't wait for dog's knee to be fixed so he can join me again).   

Get back to writing.  Neighbors are home -- dog wants out so he can bark at them.  Let dog out to bark because he only has one week of freedom before surgery and eight weeks of being cooped up for recovery and he should have fun while he can.

Spend two hours trying to cobble HTML into a facebook landing page (it worked! Check it out here! And while you're there you could always hit the like button :)  

JP comes home.  Run towards the door with dog in excitement to see him (dog stops to pick up a toy offering making me feel empty handed).  Babble about day because I like to Talk and I haven't been able to do Enough of It today.  If it's still light out, maybe take a walk through the park.  If it's late, throw something from freezer into the microwave and sit down to eat, watch an hour or so of TV and then read before bed.  

Rinse.  Repeat.

That's pretty much what my days this week have looked like.  The week before last I travelled Thurs-Fri which involved a delayed flight, missed flight, and sprint through the airport to catch the last leg home.  I think all told I figured I'd been traveling for 21/39 hours.  BUT, I was able to get a big chunk of a short story written during all the delays and that made me Very Very Happy!

This post describes what I call a "drafting" day when I'm not overly crunched by deadlines.  My revising days always look different and my "Deadline Is Looming days" put a lot more emphasis on the writing.  Right now I'm waiting on edits from my editor and am trying to tie up a bunch of loose ends before heading out on tour so my days are a bit more scattered than they are otherwise.  Or at least, it feels that way.

I shall have more to say on this topic soon (and feel free to ask any questions in the comments!)

1 BTW, he doesn't really check in on me to make sure I'm working -- this is really a joke between JP and I more than anything else. I'm extremely lucky that, because he also writes, JP understands the ins and outs of my job and is phenomenally supportive.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: The Dark and Hollow Places

Only three weeks until The Dark and Hollow Places comes out which means... time for a teaser!  So, without further ado, here's the opening:

This city used to be something once. I’ve seen pictures of the way it gleamed—sun so bright off windows it could burn your eyes. At night, lights shouted from steel like catcalls, loud and lewd, while all day long white-gloved men rushed to open doors for women who tottered about on skyscraper heels.

I wonder sometimes what happened to those women when the Return hit—how they were able to run and survive with such absurd contraptions strapped to their feet. How different the world must have been before—safe and comfortable.

The City’s nothing like that anymore. Now, bare beams scrape the sky like splintered finger bones. Half the high-rises have fallen, and scavengers pilfered the intricately scrolled ironwork long ago. There’s not much of anything left anymore, just the fear that seeps fog-like through the streets.

Fear of the Recruiters. Fear of the Unconsecrated. Fear of tomorrow.

Even so, this city’s been my home. Other than the village I lived in as a child, this is the only world I’ve known. It’s sharp-cornered and raw but it’s a refuge for those with a burn to survive. You pay your rents, you follow the rules and you do what it takes to keep living.

Which is why I find myself on the Neverlands side of the Palisade wall that cordons off and protects the Dark City as the last dregs of evening slide across the sky. This is the place where Elias would go when he was desperate for money, desperate to trade so we could pay our rent and stay in our tiny flat for another year. It’s the place where anything can be found for the right trade, and where, after the blade of my only knife broke this afternoon, I’ve come for help.

Clutching the replacement blade tightly, I’ve started to cross over one of the bridges strung between two buildings when I hear a deep rumbling cough. It’s approaching dusk and storm clouds hover over the river, causing the light to drip a dull green. I shuffle faster toward the next roof, determined to get back to my flat in the Dark City before full night, but as soon as my foot lands on the rickety bridge connecting the buildings a voice calls out, “Wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

I freeze, the frayed rope railing in one hand. I’ve been alone long enough to have learned to look out for myself, yet something about the warning makes me hesitate. Just as I start to take another step the voice says, “Look down,” and I do.

The alley a dozen stories below is dim and choked in shadows, but even so I see something moving. A moan floats up, echoing softly between the buildings as it rises. The sun breaks through a narrow gap in the clouds and the light reflects down the alley, glinting briefly off what looks like eyes and a row of cracked teeth.

As my gaze adjusts I can make out dozens of clawing fingers reaching for me amid a pile of broken bodies that should have died from their fall but didn’t. Or maybe they did die and infection’s brought them back as plague rats. I shiver, disgust rolling through me.

Carefully, I inch back onto the roof, noticing how the wooden boards I was just about to walk onto are rotten. One step more and I’d have been down on that heap as well.

“You’re the first one to listen to me and not take a dive,” the voice says, and I spin, pulling my new knife between us. A woman sits tucked between two crumbling stone chimneys. In her hand she clutches a charred wooden pipe that feebly chokes out smoke.

I glance around the roof, expecting some sort of trap. The woman gestures toward my knife. “Don’t bother,” she says. “Just me up here.”

She puts the pipe back in her mouth, the end of it burning a bright red, and in that instant I get a clear look at her face: thick dark lines painted around eyes smudged by tears or sweat or both. Then the ember fades, pulling her back into shadow.

But not before I see the raw circle around her wrist, festering with infection. The flesh edging the wound puffs and oozes, and I recognize it as a bite. I pull my knife back up between us, refusing to let it shake.

I’m usually pretty good at avoiding any confrontation with the Unconsecrated. No matter how careful you are, there’s always the risk that something will go wrong and they’ll get their teeth into you one way or another.

The woman shrugs and inhales. The light makes her skin glow again and I watch how her hand trembles. Cracks etch through the powder she used to make her old skin appear blushing and fresh—it looks like a fractured mirror instead.

I think of my own face, the scars overlaying the left side of my body like a thick spider web. Her cracks can be washed away. Mine can’t.

It’s easy to see that she’s close to the end—when the infection will kill her. I glance down again at the pile of bodies below, their feeble moans filtering into the night. She’ll be one of them soon. If she’s lucky someone will take care of her before she turns. If she isn’t…

I swallow.

With a sickening heaviness in my stomach I realize I’m the one who’s going to have to kill her. 

*insert ominous music here*

So, just to recap... here are the details:  The Dark and Hollow Places is the third Forest of Hands and Teeth book and will be coming out March 22, 2011.  You can pre-order a copy here:  IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders | Personalized/Autographed Copies.  And if you don't feel like waiting that long, you can enter to win one of ten signed Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3) by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places

by Carrie Ryan

Giveaway ends March 13, 2011.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
“The best dystopian novel we’ve read, period.” -Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, NYT bestselling authors of Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness
Enter to win
A huge thanks to everyone who has already read The Dark and Hollow Places and let me know what you thought -- it means so much to me!!  Only three more weeks!!!!!